Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1996 Mar;53(3):232-40.

Imipramine treatment of alcoholics with primary depression: A placebo-controlled clinical trial.

Author information

New York State Psychiatric Institute and the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, NY. USA.



Depressive disorders are commonly comorbid with alcoholism, particularly in treatment-seeking samples. If antidepressant treatment were safe and improved the treatment outcome in the subset of actively drinking alcoholics with depression, this would be of clinical importance.


We conducted a randomized, 12-week placebo-controlled trial of imipramine hydrochloride combined with weekly relapse prevention psychotherapy. The subjects were 69 actively drinking alcoholic outpatients with current depressive disorders. The first onset of depression was either antecedent to the abuse of alcohol or occurred during prolonged periods of sobriety. Depression and drinking outcomes at 12 weeks, as well as their relationship, were measured.


Imipramine treatment was safe and associated with improvement in depression in both adequately treated and intention-to-treat samples. While there was no overall effect on drinking outcome, patients whose mood improved showed decreased alcohol consumption that was more marked in those treated with imipramine.


Imipramine treatment is effective for primary depression among actively drinking alcoholic outpatients, and may improve alcoholic outcome for those whose depression responds to treatment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Silverchair Information Systems
    Loading ...
    Support Center